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Highlights from ANA Content Marketing Members Only Conference

October 24, 2013

By Marni Gordon, vice president of committees and conferences, ANA

This week we held our first-ever ANA Members Only Conference on Content Marketing in New York City and had a great day!  The event was hosted by Thomson Reuters and A&E Networks was the presenting sponsor.  The day was filled with rich real-time insights on keys to content marketing success and included sessions from Charles Schwab & Co., GE, Thomson Reuters, A&E/Duck Dynasty, Post Foods, and L’Oreal.  Here are some key highlights from the event:

  1. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.: Helen Loh, Vice President, Content & Digital Marketing stressed that today’s marketing must deliver useful value to consumers and that content marketing is the currency to earn consumer engagement and affinity.  Helen shared her team’s key lessons learned in content marketing which are:  
    • Content in paid media is highly effective in generating engagement.
    • Engagement vs. conversion may be optimized in different formats.
    • Content expands the scope of marketing – key challenge is to integrate functions in new ways.
    • Content requires different teams and processes.
    • Creating a “content center of excellence” can be a low-friction way to build centralized governance.
  2. GE: Jason Hill, Director, International Advertising & Content discussed how GE, the world’s oldest start-up, has morphed from advertiser to publisher.  GE believes that content marketing is a way to humanize a 130 year old company.  GE now pushes out relevant and authentic content daily in a range of formats in a much more nimble way.  GE has found that slideshows tend to be most popular in social and infographics are most popular in native advertising.  The principles that guide GE’s content marketing are:
    • The media is the message.
    • Think like a publisher.
    • Go beyond eyeballs: passions
  3. Thomson Reuters: Stephen Sonnenfeld, Vice President, Corporate Advertising & Brand Integration led a panel discussion with participants from Ogilvy, Interbrand, and Thomson Reuters on the ins, outs and keys to positioning your brand to achieve thought leadership success.  Some of the key insights shared were:
    • Within content marketing, the brand needs to be authentic and have a voice of people talking to people vs. a brand talking to people.
    • If you set up a strong owned and earned media strategy first, then your brand is more likely to use your paid media more wisely.
    • Search is where the consumer thinks on their own terms and it is important to use this data to create relevant and authentic content.
  4. A&E Networks/Duck Dynasty:  Lori Peterzell, Vice President of Marketing & Brand Strategy spoke about how they leveraged real-time content and social media to position their smash-hit show Duck Dynasty as a pop culture phenomenon.  The company established a social response lab which created an interactive viewing experience focusing on social listening and real-time fan engagement.  A&E Networks also holds weekly content meetings and handles content marketing in-house.

  5. Post Foods: Jennifer Mennes, Director of Media and Public Relations at Post Foods and her agency partner Dan Curran, President of Manifest Digital spoke about how they view Post Foods as a “billion-dollar startup”.  Post Foods has adopted a “newsroom mentality” which includes:
    • Creative Innovation
    • 24 Hour Newsroom – agility is critical and the team needs to respond within hours
    • Adapt or Die
    • Measurability is Key – need to provide real-time analysis on what’s happening and act quickly on findings.
  6. L’Oreal: Rachel Weiss, Vice President, Digital Innovation, Content and New Business Ventures spoke about her company’s biggest content marketing challenge is to produce engageing content.  L’Oreal’s leverages content marketing through how-to videos, ratings and reviews, influencers, articles, and product review tools.  The company is going through a content marketing internal audit and determining their content marketing strategy first and then what’s working/what’s not working from their content library.  L’Oreal also reviews any responses and questions across all channels (not just search) and addresses them in real-time.

I really enjoyed this event and can’t wait to learn more about how top marketers leverage real-time content marketing at ANA’s Real-Time Marketing Conference!!!  This inaugural event, presented by Starcom, is December 4th in New York City!  Speakers include Kraft Foods Group, The Coca-Cola Company, Hasbro, Anheuser-Busch, MINI, MasterCard Worldwide, Capital One, Nestle and more!!!  I look forward to seeing you there!

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